Monsoon changes script, hits Kolkata first

KOLKATA: The city received 7.2mm rain on Monday, the this year. On Monday, clouds started gathering in the afternoon and rain came pouring down with thunderclaps in quick succession.

“Monsoon has arrived in Kolkata and some parts of North and South 24 Parganas,” the Indian Meteorological Department announced around 3.45pm on Monday after the weather scientists ascertained that all criteria were in place.

The Met office was keeping tabs on the movement of a lowpressure area that intensified into a depression over the Bay of Bengal on Sunday evening. This system had to enter the land to trigger monsoon rain. It finally crossed the Bangladesh coast on Sunday night, making the situation conducive for the onset of .

“We had predicted the monsoon to arrive between June 9 and June 11. It has finally arrived on Monday, June 11. We expect lingering rain for the next two days,” said GK Das, director (weather) of the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), Kolkata.

Normally, June 8 is considered to be the scheduled date of monsoon in Kolkata, with an error margin of plus-minus three days.

“Since monsoon entered Kolkata on June 11, that is three days after June 8, we will not call it delayed monsoon. It has arrived nearly on time. On Monday, it covered Kolkata and South and North 24 Parganas. Conditions are now favourable for further advancement of monsoon to more parts of Bengal in the next 48 hours,” said Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, deputy director of meteorology at RMC, Kolkata.

Unlike previous years, monsoon this year hit south Bengal before northern parts of the state. According to meteorologists, this is the first time such a phenomenon has taken place at least in a decade. They said that systems, like the low pressure or the depression, which accelerates the monsoon’s advancement, have to enter the Bengal coast to touch North Bengal. But this time, the depression has entered through the Bangladesh coast instead.

“We normally see the monsoon hitting north Bengal before coming to South Bengal. At least, monsoon arrives to both the regions together. For example, the year cyclone Aila hit the region, monsoon entered both north and south Bengal on the same day,” said Das.

Though it has been raining over the past few days, the Met office has been calling it premonsoon showers because the showers did not meet the criteria — factors like wind direction, origination of cloud and the pattern of rain — for it to be called monsoon rain.

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